Alexander Garden

Alexander Garden is one of the first urban public parks in Moscow

Neglinnaya River collector in Alexander Garden
pinterest button

The park comprises three separate gardens, which stretch along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for 865 metres (2,838 ft) between the building of the Moscow Manege and the Kremlin.

History

After the Napoleonic Wars, Tsar Alexander I ordered architect Osip Bove to reconstruct parts of the city which had been destroyed by French troops.

Alexander Garden Gate
pinterest button Alexander Garden Gate Минеева Ю. (Julmin), CC BY-SA 1.0

Bove laid out a new garden from 1819—1823, on the site of the riverbed of the Neglinnaya River, which was channeled underground.

Layout

Upper Garden

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Towards the main entrance to the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame brought from the Field of Mars in Leningrad. Created in 1967, it contains the body of a soldier who fell during the Great Patriotic War at the kilometer 41 marker of Leningradskoe Shosse, the nearest point the forces of Nazi Germany penetrated towards Moscow. Post Number One, where the honor sentinels stand on guard, used to be located in front of Lenin's Mausoleum, but was moved to the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier in the 1990s.

Grotto

The middle section of the upper garden contains a faux ruined grotto built underneath the Middle Arsenal Tower.

Grotto in Alexander Garden
pinterest button Grotto in Alexander Garden Минеева Ю. (Julmin), CC BY-SA 3.0
Although not constructed until 1841, this was part of Bove's original design.

Iron gate

The garden's cast iron gate and grille were designed to commemorate the Russian victories over Napoleon, and its rocks are rubble from buildings destroyed during the French occupation of Moscow.

Obelisk

In front of the grotto is an obelisk erected on July 10 1914, a year after the tercentenary of the Romanov dynasty was celebrated. The monument made of granite from Finland listed all of the Romanov Tsars and had the coats of arms of the Russian provinces.

Four years later, the dynasty was gone, and the Bolsheviks (per Lenin’s directive on Monumental propaganda) removed the imperial eagle, and re-carved the monument with a list of 19 socialist and communist philosophers and political leaders, personally approved by Lenin. Originally in the Lower Garden, it was relocated to its present location in 1966.

In 2013 during the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov reign the column was restored to its original look of 1913 year and returned back to Alexander garden on the day of celebration of National Unity (November 4).

The wrought iron grille, enclosing this part of the garden, has a design of fasces, which are intended to commemorate the military victory over Napoleon.

The northern part of the garden is adjacent to the large underground shopping complex at Manege Square.

Middle Garden

The most prominent feature of the Middle Garden is the outlying Kutafya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin.

Women Mounted Police in Alexander Garden
pinterest button Women Mounted Police in Alexander Garden Владимир Шеляпин, CC BY-SA 3.0

There is an entrance to the park opposite the tower directly to the Moscow Metro system.

Lower Garden

Laid out in 1823, the Lower Garden stretches to the road leading to the Borovitskaya Tower, one of two vehicular and pedestrian entrances to the Kremlin.

Useful Information

Alexander Garden
Russian: Александровский сад

Admission

free

Opening hours

  • 24/7

Contacts

Moscow, Kremlin, Western wall

☎ +7 (495) 290-30-94